Common technical terms in email

Stay current and expand your email knowledge with our list of common technical terms.

Return path

A return path is used to specify where bounced emails are sent and is placed in the email header. It’s an SMTP address separate from the sending address. This is a good practice for email delivery, as it gives bounced emails a place to land – other than in an inbox – making it easier to avoid sending notifications to bounced addresses. However, it’s important for authentication to ensure that the return path domain is the same as the sending domain.

Brands use a return path that stores all bounced emails, which helps them improve deliverability, making them more credible to inbox service providers (ISPs) like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Return path also helps track email bounces and maintain email list hygiene.